Tom Fountain Overpass officially opens to traffic
14 August 2014
Joint release with:
Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads
Senator for Queensland
Member for Ipswich West
Motorists using the Warrego Highway and Brisbane Valley Highway intersection at Blacksoil will benefit from safer travel with the Tom Fountain Overpass now officially open to traffic.
Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the Tom Fountain Overpass opening was a major milestone in the $93.4 million Blacksoil intersection upgrade.
“By grade separating the major traffic movements at this intersection, we will deliver improved safety and freight efficiency,” Mr Truss said.
“The Australian Government has committed a record $13.4 billion to the Queensland Infrastructure Investment Programme, including $1.285 billion to build the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing and $508 million for upgrade works on the Warrego Highway between Toowoomba and Miles.”
Senator for Queensland Matthew Canavan, attending the opening on behalf of Mr Truss, said the Tom Fountain Overpass provided a safer road for motorists and a designated shared footpath for cyclists and pedestrians crossing the Warrego Highway.
“Along with the Government's record investment in the Warrego and the Second Range Crossing, the Tom Fountain Overpass is part of a plan that will create a corridor of commerce from the wealth of western Queensland to the ports of Brisbane and the markets of Asia. That will make our beef, grains, gas and coal industries stronger and so create more jobs,” Senator Canavan said.
“Today we are also celebrating Tom Fountain himself—a man who was well known in the Blacksoil community and in the Queensland transport industry.
“The Tom Fountain Overpass is actually located on the site of Tom Fountain's Garage, previously known as Fountain Corner.”
Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Scott Emerson said the full project was about 90 per cent complete and a great example of how the Government was providing better infrastructure and planning as part of its stronger plan for a brighter future for all motorists.
“Motorists are reminded to drive safely when travelling through the work site,” Mr Emerson said.
“The upgrade will ease congestion and increase safety for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians by separating major traffic movements, while still retaining access for local business and residents at this busy intersection.”
Member for Ipswich West Sean Choat said Mr Fountain was well liked, and it was fitting the overpass had been named after someone regarded by locals as an icon of the community.
“It is great to see Tom's family and those of the late Ron Schmidt, who was Tom's great friend and was tragically killed with him in 1984, all here today to see the new overpass already providing benefits to the community.” Mr Choat said.
The Australian Government has committed $54 million to the upgrade, with the Queensland Government contributing the remaining $39.4 million to the project.